There are days when I ask myself why I wasn’t a pharmacist instead. Every day, I think about selling my house and just moving back in with my parents because I’m giving everything to this job and still only managing to live paycheck to paycheck. I mean, what’s the point anymore? I live in constant fear that I’m going to mess up. I can’t sleep. On the weekends, I obsess about everything I could have done better. I always feel like nothing is ever good enough anymore. Maybe this isn’t the job for me… A, why did we choose this life? Why?!
— 

A rant from my friend, a fellow teacher in another district.

While I think most of us love what we do, this hit home for me today. I didn’t even have a bad day, but a bad day a few months ago was fresh enough to open the wound. 

She said this after a particularly combative conversation with a parent who’s been uninvolved in her child’s education until today and now wants to set the rules. My friend is a first year teacher at her school, after being laid off at her other school after 4 years. She was freaking out that she was going to lose her job over this one parent complaining about her to admin. I had to talk her down from the ledge, tell her that it would be okay. I genuinely think it will be, but who knows lately?

That’s what it is to be a teacher now. No power, no voice. No opportunity to learn from (understandable) mistakes. Feeling on the chopping block at all times. You have to be highly effective fresh out of the gate. You can run yourself ragged proving you’re worthy. The burnout is real. It is so, so real.

And while this has been the best year of my teaching career and I would only ever willingly leave if I won the lottery and/or made a living as a writer somehow, I’ll be damned if there aren’t those days when I think it would have been a million times easier to have a job that was just a job and not a lifestyle.

Note to self: when teaching a small choir of year 8s, if one of them is talking nonstop through your rehearsal (regardless of how many times you’ve told them nicely to stop) but isn’t singing and their excuse is “I’m tryiiiing” (despite the fact that they’re clearly not), there are many options regarding how to deal with them.

Telling them “No, you’re not trying. Trying would be making some noises with your face that are actually useful” is probably not the best one.

Teaching can be a lot like this, I imagine.  I can only imagine because I know I could never be a teacher in the traditional sense of the word.  My management skills would be atrocious and I’d do Art all day long.  

What qualities do you think make a great teacher? Do you think you have what it takes to be a teacher?  Why or why not?  Let us know via submit or #gulteach!

Noah, theramblingark

Today, I proctored an exam in a room with no air conditioning and no ability to open windows. It was in the upper 80s and utterly stifling. I’m glad I had a cold beverage and wore this linen top. My muscle relaxers dehydrate me super fast and make me sweat a lot, so at least I din’t feel totally gross. Wearing some sultry perfume (BPAL’s New Orleans) also helped. #fashionablyacademic #gradschool #phd #graduateschool #heat #selfie #me #perfume #chronicpain #chronicillnessprincess #chronicillness #spoonie #edszebra #eds #ehlersdanlossydrome #ehlersdanlos #mylife #linen #finals #teachingassistant #teaching #exams #school #bpal #blackphoenixalchemylab #jewishgirl #jewish #latina #curls #curlygirl #vscocam